Kingdom Dialogue

Kingdom theology invites us to think about what it’s like to be in the family of the King of Kings. So let’s think about it. When the king — your Dad — says, “I need you to go out and do something for me,” you go out and do it!

I want to go out there. I want to leave the Kingdom walls. I want to bring the aroma of Christ to everybody. If God asks me to go out and provide clean water for people, I want to go! I want to go so that I can bring clean water. I want to love my neighbor as myself. Love connects, and I want to connect with people. I want to talk with them. I want dialogue.

I want to say, “Look, I see you need water. I want to give it to you.” That starts the conversation. That opens the door to dialogue. And when they ask me why I’m helping them, I’ll get to say, “Because I love you.” They’ll ask me,”Why do you love me? You don’t even know me!” And that’s when I’ll get to say, “I love you because of God. The one I call my Dad. He loves you! He loves everybody! He loves humanity. So here I am. I’m here for you, and I’m going to love on you.”

When I see people who can’t eat, I’m going to help provide food. They might ask me, ”How are you going to feed us?” And that’s when I’ll get to say, ”I’m going to ask God, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He commands everything, and He will help me get food to you. He will give me the right food program. He will help me involve people — hundreds of people — in making packages of food for you. They love you too! And even if He doesn’t give me a program, He will still help me feed you. He’s going to allow me to take two loaves and a fish and feed all of you with it. He does all of this because He loves you, and I love you because He loves you.

“And when you’ve eaten, and your children are healthy because their water doesn’t make them sick, then I’m going to tell you why He loves you. When you can trust my voice, I’m going to tell you what it means that He loves you. And I’m going to invite you to come and be a part of His family, in His Kingdom.”

When I get sent out from the Kingdom of Heaven, to enter the world in order to serve, and to heal, and to dialogue, that’s joy, man. That’s joy, even though it’s not always easy. More on this next time. See you Monday.

Leaving the Kingdom Walls

Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
Psalm 1:1

I’ve been freed in the last couple of years more than I’ve ever been freed before, because now I understand who I am. I’ve been freed because of grace.

Sometimes Christians that grew up in the church don’t want to hang with non-Christians. They say, “Oh, I’m not supposed to surround myself with people of that nature.” But you can’t tell me that! You can’t tell me that I can’t hang with non-Christians because I’m going to be tempted to be like them. That’s taking the verse out of context. It’s nonsense! I’ve answered the call, man. So I’ve got to leave the Kingdom walls.

It’s only by going outside the Kingdom walls that I will find the people that are hurting. I love Jesus and I follow Him, and Jesus left a pretty awesome spot in Heaven to come down here and deal with us and our sin and shame. Think about it. He left a really awesome spot. And He didn’t do it just to hang out with people who didn’t need Him! He said, “I don’t help the ones that don’t need doctors. I help those who are sick.” (Matthew 9:12) He wasn’t talking only about disease, either. He said He came to help those who are sick. Sick.

We have to do the same as He did. If we don’t go out and hang with those who are sick, then what are we doing? If we don’t go outside the Kingdom walls and say, “Let me tell you about Jesus,” then what are we doing? If we don’t go out there where people are hurting and do something to help them, then what is the point? Loving our neighbors as Jesus loved us is the whole point of life! If there’s no reason to do that, then I don’t need to be here. You might as well just kill me right now and take me home.

But there is every reason to do that. Jesus said, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment.” And then Jesus said, “And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.Mark 12:28-31

No greater commandment than these. So how could I possibly want to do any less?

Other People

God is a jealous God. Your relationship with Him is your number one priority. It is! And if you’re truly striving to have a relationship with God, then there will be a change in you. You will become a better human being.

But I think Christians are sometimes like this:

“I’ve got to make sure I read my Bible today, and I’ve got to make sure I take communion, and I’ve got to memorize my memory verse. Hey! That person just cut me off! Eff you!”

Or worse, they see other people, right in front of them, and their attitude is, “Hey, man, I don’t care about that person.” Continue reading

A Silence Broken By Love

In the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew, the people of Israel didn’t hear from God. We’re talking about 400 years of silence. 400 years! From our perspective, that’s the 1600s to today. It was as if God ceased to exist in the land. It was turmoil.

As I know God right now, it would be incredibly bad if He was quiet for 400 years. Continue reading

The Least of These

Throughout my baseball career, God has continually increased my role in Christian social justice projects. Due to my participation in hunger and abolition initiatives, and after I saw the joy expressed by Ugandan children over clean, clear water, I read about the judgment of the sheep and the goats in Matthew 25 with fresh eyes. And as I told you last time, this opened me anew to the simple truth of the Gospel. When you accept Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you make that dedication to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, then the Spirit of God becomes alive in you.

That’s when the aroma of Christ will flow out of you. Continue reading

Imagine the Success of Love

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.”

And they said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.”

He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. Matthew 14:16-20

In the early years of my baseball career, I was not fulfilled. I was not fulfilled as long as I was just saying, “I’m a Christian,” and then going and playing baseball. I didn’t feel good. I didn’t understand my purpose for being here on this earth. I didn’t understand, because my purpose is not to be a baseball player. Continue reading

Know Your Neighbor’s Needs

The first great commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself. The day I realized that these are not two commandments, but one single commandment, was a day of revelation for me. It took me a few years of searching to see it, but when this realization came home, then BAM! I thought I knew all I needed to know. I was so excited to get started. So I founded an organization called Generation Alive.

Initially, it was about training young people to lead, and to dream really big. That’s why I started Generation Alive. I said, “Okay, you know, I have to figure out some way to love my neighbor as myself. I want to love on young people. I want to tell them to dream really big.” So I got this huge idea to start a non-profit. I hired a guy to serve as Generation Alive’s director. We got into a couple of schools, and we talked about dreaming big. It seemed like it was going well, but nothing ever really caught on. Generation Alive was failing. Continue reading